Do you like brick-built brunches? Studded snacks? How about AFOL appetizers and MOC munchies? Then you’ll want to attend the TBB Banquet! This year’s TBB reader collaboration at the BrickCon LEGO convention is all about life-size LEGO food. We’re spreading a magnificent feast made of our favorite bricks, and we want your help. The theme is simple: build something to eat and make it life-size. There’s just one twist: we’re featuring all these food items on real dishes and plates!
If you’re planning to attend Seattle’s BrickCon this year as a fully registered AFOL attendee, join us in laying out our parts-pack potluck! We know the title says banquet, but that’s just because we liked the alliteration with our name. Really, we’re not quite that pretentious, and our LEGO lunch is likely to be a lot more laid back. We’ve got a lovely-looking lobster (built by the inimitable Ty Keltner), but we expect the food to range from casserole to croissant. Want to bring potato chips and Coke? Great!
We’ve even got a potluck signup list, so you can sign up your SNOT-covered snacks ahead of time, and see what others are bringing! (Note: you’ll still need to register your MOC with BrickCon.)
Click here to sign up for the Potluck. (A name is all that is required to sign up. Email is optional.)
We’ll have some real plates, bowls, and glasses available to present your MOCs, but if you’ve got a special dish in mind or a MOC that requires a very specific size or type of dish, you’ll want to bring your own. As always with our reader-collab themes, don’t get too caught up in the details. As long as your model is about life-size, we’ll make it work and it will look great.
Now let’s take a closer look at a few of the models we’ve already got, brought to you by Ty. Continue reading
While most people would agree that the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as a whole, is vastly superior to the competing DC product, the same cannot be said of the television properties, where the CW’s “Arrowverse” shows have been both successful and watchable. A minor character first introduced in Arrow, Atom (a.k.a. Ray Palmer), gets more screen time in the spin-off Legends of Tomorrow, and his shrinking suit is built in wearable (by a normal-sized human) scale LEGO by Brickatecture moc industries. Like the MCU’s Ant-Man, Atom can vary his size by using highly advanced technology contained in his suit, giving him the ability to get into tiny spaces or to grow huge, though it should be noted that Atom was first published in the comics in 1961 and Ant-Man didn’t debut until…1962. The suit in Legends of Tomorrow also allows Ray to fly and shoot energy bolts from his hands, and probably other things as well, so it ends up being something of a cross between Ant-Man and Iron Man.
Now, I won’t pretend to be able to identify the technical parts of the suit, but it looks great with its dark blue and red color scheme, and the connectors formed of pin connectors and Mixel joints give the thing a splash of contrast and flexibility to be worn. I don’t know how sturdy it is, but it definitely looks like it would be fun to wear around at a convention for a while, at least until you wanted to sit down. This is not the first bit of wearable LEGO superhero swag that Brickatecture moc industries has built; check out his Infinity Gauntlet, Star-Lord mask, and Venom mask here!
Whether you’re preparing a business report or hiding your coworker’s office supplies in the vending machine like Jim, this arrangement of MSIndustries‘ corporate essentials is all you need to have a productive day. This really is an incredible set of creations, and I’m truly impressed by the attention to detail. The staples, ink stamp, even the pencil shavings in the bottom of the pencil sharpener. It’s all here!
We’ve seen excellent Walkman-themed LEGO models in the past, but this one by H.Y. Leung is an absolute cracker. The cassettes are beautifully put together, and the parts choice and shaping on the headphones are particularly good. The buttons on the tape player’s side are relatively simple, but accurate to the original piece of hardware. And, whilst the cable doesn’t appear to be “purist” LEGO building, its messy tangle adds immensely to the build.
Readers from eastern Europe will instantly recognize this adorable critter from the Czech cartoon Krtek (which means “little mole” in Czech). Having read books and seen cartoons of Krtek’s adventures throughout my childhood, I never thought to see the character built out of LEGO. But when I saw this perfect recreation by Eero Okkonen, I went full “aww-mode”.
The pose on the image is so iconic that one would hardly notice this is LEGO, were it not for a jagged edge here and there. Curved pieces capture the character’s shape very well, but my favourite parts are the red nose and the three long hairs on the mole’s head. As a master character builder, Eero has explored many different source materials and themes, but none quite as iconic as this one. Thanks for the nostalgia trip, Eero!
If you love strategy games, it is likely that you enjoy chess, one of the oldest strategy games out there. When I was in high school, a group of friends and I got together to play chess every Friday, but I must admit that I showed up mostly for the Twizzlers and chips and salsa. Judging by his excellent LEGO rendition of a chessboard, Chris Maddison seems like the kind of guy who would have shown up to show people up with skillful moves and clever endgame strategies.
This is a very handsome and elegant board and set of pieces, with virtually no studs showing except for the eyes and throats of the knights. The anti-studs at the top of the rooks look great, but my favorite piece is the king, with a simple yet effective cross atop his crown. The SNOT (studs not on top) board looks perfect for playing; I could easily see myself being checkmated in three moves on it. Perhaps it is time for me to dust off my old chess set and start playing again; or better yet, I could build myself one like Chris.
If you’ve spent any time in arcades, you’ve likely been tempted by those crane games where you can win a handful of candy (or sometimes bigger prizes). H.Y. Leung has taken that temptation to the extreme by making their own working version from LEGO bricks.
The base of this build is 80×64 studs (roughly 64×51 centimeters); pretty close to 1:1 scale to a real-world crane game. The arm design comes from LEGO set 42043, the Mercedes-Benz Arocs 3245, with a modified claw. The first control on the left side rotates the arm left and right, moving it through a 200-degree arc. The next three switches handle positioning of the boom and outrigger and opening and closing the claw. To the right of the controls is a slot that accepts tokens, and a switch to activate a pneumatically-controlled horizontal security bar, intended to keep people from reaching up and into the game when it’s not in use.
This claw-machine creation incorporates just a touch of non-LEGO parts in the custom plexiglass, external air compressor, and edible treats. I personally would have liked to see this machine filled with LEGO parts, but I suspect bulk candy is a lot cheaper to refill it with.
Speaking of arcade games, the colors are inspired by the prize machine in the mobile game Crossy Road. Not familiar with that machine? Happily, H.Y. has also recreated a LEGO version to add some context. I like the inversion of the red/yellow styling between the two games.
André Pinto‘s build took me by surprise. I said to myself, “That’s a nice LEGO bonsai tree photographed on a nice piece of antique furniture.” Part of that is true; it is a nice LEGO bonsai tree. But part of it is false, too, because a closer look revealed that the table and the rug were also made entirely from LEGO. André says that there are 5,000 pieces in the build, but 85% of them are the limited selection that comes from the Pick-a-Brick walls in LEGO retail stores. The large amounts of somewhat odd pieces comes together for a stunning build.
The sand green telescopes form a lovely border around the edge of the table, and the copious yellow click hinges provide a surprisingly realistic rug texture beneath. The white flowers still attached to the sprue drape elegantly from the branches of the tree. The details that deceived me, however, are the reflective surface of the table with small petals on it, and the finely crafted legs, with cross supports, beneath it. What a clever use of bulk parts!
Whether you’re religious or not, Easter is a great time to recognize the breath of fresh air that is springtime. The flowers are blooming and baby animals are coming into the world. Rabbits, well known for their prolific ability to procreate, are the adorable mascots of the season. The candy-filled eggs (also a symbol of fertility) are a pretty cool bonus too. Although it doesn’t come with eggs, Felix Jaensch’s latest build sits amongst the best LEGO bunnies around. Most are sitting or standing, but laying down makes this one catch your eye. Realistic as always, it is more proof that he certainly has a keen eye for organic shapes!
If you can’t get enough builds for the occasion, this cartoon-ish bunny is full of character!
Hands up if you love this LEGO model! Australian artist Kale Frost is a master at handcrafted LEGO models of varying scales and this time he’s constructed a little scene full of 1:1 scale items. Although this scene was posted as a tease for a future creation, we felt this work stood on its own for the composition of the modeled artist’s hand, paintbrushes with all sorts of neat tips including a cheerleader’s pompom and rare dark green broom, pen and pencil, the spiral-bound notepad using Nakia’s chakram rings.
Hands down the biggest mystery to me here is the inclusion of the crayon girl costume collectible minifig. What’s her role? Is she one of the artist’s tools come to life? Maybe Kale’s next creation will lead us by the hand and explain it to us.
If Kale’s name sounds familiar, his handiwork has been featured on TBB several times in the past covering a broad range of styles and subjects. I’m keen on his roadside diner and microscale castle diorama.
I could have pancakes smothered in syrup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then some in between as well. With such a healthy diet, it may not be long before I need to pay a visit to the dentist though. But having a bite out of this will require immediate attention! If I end up with any broken teeth, the only person I’m going to blame is builder LittleJohn! The use of those minifigure caps for blueberries are wonderful, but that sliced orange with transparent cheese slopes takes the (pan)cake for me! Knowing that not everyone is a fan of pancakes, you may want to know that chef LittleJohn can cook up a few other breakfast dishes. Try some of these other delicious savory foods, including waffles, or eggs and tomato.
It takes a great deal more skill to sculpt with basic LEGO bricks than you might think. The ability to produce organic curves from rectangular bricks is awe-inspiring, and strikes envy in those of us who are always searching for that perfect shape. Upon seeing this life-size Rhesus macaque, I knew it had to be the work of Felix Jaensch, who is a master of the art. I must say, it really could not have been done better!
Adult males like this one (just in case you weren’t sure if it’s a male) are about 18-25in long and weigh an average of about 16-19lbs. They have an expressive face, which is perfectly captured here. Additionally, the lovely use of a select few slopes gives the fluffier bits texture and character, and the minifigure hand to finish the nose is genius!
Rhesus macaques are probably the most commonly known macaques in the world. That’s partly because these monkeys have a massive home range in central and southern Asia, and are invasive in several other places in the world. They’re also widely studied and used in research due to their high level of intelligence and fairly close physiological relation to humans. It was a study of their blood that led to our understanding of the Rh blood-typing system we use today!
If you like Felix’s style, check out some of the other life-size animals we’ve featured, like his Red Panda, Macaw, Rabbit, or American Kestrel.